In Japan, a new super express rail service opened today (Wednesday) linking Tokyo with the southern city of Okayama with trains travelling up to 210 kilometres (126 miles) an hour.
At Okayama, cu font bullet train an to platform
ms platform handover ceremony to rail officials
ws ribbon cut and balloons and streamers released
ms train pulls away from Okayama station
cu interior bullet train
track shot thru driver's window
cu speedometers shows more than 200 kph
cu passenger drinking tea
track shot thru window
ms train into tunnel
track shot Himeji Castle in distance
Aerial view two trains pass on elevated track
ha train into Osaka station
cu sign Shin-Osaka (New Osaka)
ms officials on platform
ms train crew board
ms train pulls away for Tokyo
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Background: In Japan, a new super express rail service opened today (Wednesday) linking Tokyo with the southern city of Okayama with trains travelling up to 210 kilometres (126 miles) an hour.
An extension of the bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka, the new trains will cover 674 kilometres (404 miles) to Okayama in only four hours the minutes, compared with 11 hours for ordinary express trains.
A special platform ceremony farewelled the first train from Okayama to Tokyo at dawn today.
Built at a cost of 230-billion-yen, the service will operate at an average speed of 163 kilometres (98 miles) an hour - the fastest in the world. By comparison, a West German train service operate at 140 kph (84 mpg) and an American one at 138 kph (82 mph).
The section from Okayama to Osaka, called The New Sanyo line, runs along the Inland Sea coast linking many famous tourist centres in Western Japan with Tokyo.
For 36 per cent of its length, the new line runs through tunnels, including the 16-kilometre Long Rokko tunnel between Osaka and Kobe -- the third longest in the world. Outside of tunnels, the sleek, blue and white super expresses mostly travel along elevated rails.
The entire operation is controlled by a giant computer which monitors the operations of dozens of bullet trains each day.
Most important, according to the Japanese National Railways, is the safety record of bulle Trains.
Apart from their speed, in the seven years since the first super express ran between Tokyo and Osaka, the trains have carried 428-million passengers without any serious accidents.
According to many experts, Japan today has the fastest and most efficient railway system in the world. It's all a far cry form the first Japanese train which ran from Tokyo to Yokohama in 1872. That took 53 minutes while a bullet train today covers the same distance in just 19 minutes.